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12° Nicosia,
15 August, 2020
 
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Noratlas replica finds its way to Makedonitissa

Secret plane to take part in events commemorating military coup and invasion

Newsroom

The parts of a Noratlas plane arrived at Makedonitissa military cemetery on Monday, where they will be put back together in an exact replica of the plane that was shot down by friendly fire during a secret mission in 1974.

According to CNA News, the Greek warship Chios pulled into Larnaca harbour Monday morning, bringing the disassembled aircraft, where it was then transferred to Nicosia by private oversized trucks.

The plane will be assembled at the war memorial section of the Makedonitissa cemetary in order to take part in special occasions commemorating the events of 1974 in Cyprus, when a short-lived military coup engineered by Athens on July 15 was followed by a Turkish army invasion on July 20.

Noratlas was taking part in a secret mission on July 22, in order to assist Greek Cypriot forces as they put up a resistance to the advancing Turkish army.

Noratlas was taking part in a secret mission on July 22, in order to assist Greek Cypriot forces as they put up a resistance to an advancing Turkish army

But Greek Cypriot forces manning the Nicosia airport mistook the plane for the enemy and fired fatal rounds against the aircraft, which had 33 souls on board.

The plane crashed seconds later with only one commando surviving after managing to jump out. A fire that started inside the aircraft is believed to have killed everyone else who did not die on impact.

The plane was buried with the remains of the commandos still inside, with the aircraft lying exactly under a mound on which a monument to the those fallen in 1974 was later erected.

The government was criticised for not being forthcoming about the exact fate of the aircraft and the remains of Greek fallen commandos, with some of their families later being given misidentified remains. Athens did not officially recognise the Noratlas operation, as Greece was a NATO ally and not at war with Turkey. 

In the last two years, the plane was exhumed and the remains of 19 commandos were returned to their families, in an effort by the government to make things right.

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Cyprus  |  Noratlas  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  war  |  invasion  |  intervention  |  coup  |  peace  |  military  |  operation  |  commando  |  Greek  |  Cypriot  |  Turkish  |  Makedonitissa

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